Instagram Stories adds URL links, user tagging and Boomerang

Instagram Stories now features three brand new tools: 'See More' URL links, mentions and Boomerang mode.

Instagram Stories

Instagram has added three new tools to its Stories mode, with one in particular of potential significance to marketing professionals.

After boasting of one million daily active users just two months after launch, the Facebook-owned app is clearly intent on striking while the iron’s hot.

The additions are aimed to ‘help make your story even more fun”, according to Instagram on its company blog. But while that may be true for users, marketers will be more intrigued by the potential behind the addition of navigable URL links to their Stories.

As well as that, users can also now use the previously stand-alone Boomerang in-app and also tag other Instagram profiles in their stories.

‘See More’ Links

One common criticism of Snapchat is that users can’t add links to Snaps and Stories, something that Instagram is clearly looking to capitalise on.

Verified users only (at present) can add a URL to their Stories which will open their required landing page within the app itself. The link will be displayed as the text ‘See More’, which users can tap or swipe upwards to access.

Brands will now be able to send users elsewhere to purchase products, buy tickets, view videos or even follow their profiles on other social networks.

Mentions

Users can already tag other Instagrammers in captions and comments, but now they can do so in Stories as well.

The feature works in a familiar way: simply tap ‘@’ when adding text to a Story, and then start typing the username of the person you want to mention. Select the required profile and they’ll be added to your Story in underlined text. When someone taps the username, they’ll be taken to that user’s profile page.

Users will be notified in Direct when they’ve been mentioned. Tapping the preview will take them straight to the Story while it’s still live.

Boomerang

Boomerang has been around for just over a year, but only as a stand-alone app that users had to download separately and use outside of Instagram.

Now it’s being integrated into Stories. Swiping right from the feed opens the Stories camera, where the new mode can be found under the format picker.

Boomerang enables users to stitch together a rapid burst of images and create a mini video that plays forwards and backwards – hence ‘boomerang’.

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